Somdev blames himself for defeat

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Somdev Devvarman rued missing a lot of breakpoints against Marin Cilic in the Chennai Open title clash lose but promised to become a better player.

Updated: January 11, 2009 17:59 IST
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Somdev Devvarman on Sunday rued missing a lot of breakpoints against Croatia's Marin Cilic in the Chennai Open title clash lose but promised to become a better player.

Cilic handed 10 breakpoints to the Indian wild card but Somdev could convert just one.

"I did not convert my chances, it happens on some days. I double faulted to throw the set. It is not a smart job being 30-30. I am going to learn and become a better player," he said at the post match press conference.

Somdev was also upset that his service deserted him in the crucial encounter as he aimed to win his maiden ATP title before the home crowd.

"Unfortunately today, my first serve was just 50 per cent and that is going to hurt me." Somdev said he played well in the second set and tries to balance it out in wins and loses.

"I stepped up and took advantage and hit better returns. I need to play like that to win some points.. Then the chips fell. I have to blame myself for it. I do not want to get too negative when I lose nor get too positive when I win," he said.

"Performance is very important in every single match. The results are also very important exactly at the level that I am playing these days, it is going to take me to better rankings," the 23-year-old added.

On being asked if returning short balls during the long rallies was his strategy, he said, "You do not try and dish out short balls. It is something I do a lot of times and also forced him to err. It was a mix of both today. I am going to analyse this loss and see how better I can be in future."

The Indian player admitted that Cilic's booming forehands were tough to handle. "I was a little bit threatened with his forehands than backhand and at times ripped through the open court. I feel my ground stroke is one of my best weapons.

"I feel solid on ground-strokes on both ends. But serving better will make everything look a lot easier," he said.

Somdev said he had not planned anything specific for the season but was happy to see his ranking shooting near the top-150 mark.

"I never had a plan. It is funny. For now, I have a set plan. The 160th rank is what it is and that is cool." Somdev was now eying qualifying for the Australian Open main draw.

"Right now I am looking at playing in the Melbourne qualifier. I have been training for it. After that maybe a Challenger here and there to get my ranking up. Hopefully, play a few more tour events in the first half of 2009," he signed off.

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